Ukraine: Russian senator says it's 'time to wreck US bases'
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Russian senator Frants Klintsevich suggested that the four HIMARS long-range missiles being sent to Ukraine by the US could “threaten our people on our territory”, refusing to believe Kyiv’s assurances to US President Joe Biden that the weapons would not be used outside of Ukraine. Speaking on Russian state media, senator Klintsevich said that Ukraine and the US would view any lack of Russian retaliation as “weakness”, urging Russian President Vladimir Putin to begin “wrecking American bases”.
The channel’s host said: “A Pentagon spokesman has said Ukraine has assured the US that [HIMARS] will only be used for defence and that kind of satisfied them.
Senator Klintsevich responded: “That’s just complete nonsense! It’s impossible to talk to Americans and the Ukrainians in these conditions.
“I now believe that the continuation of that conversation is as follows: We are speaking from a position of tolerance, we are giving signals when we say that that line cannot be crossed.
“But unfortunately, they view our tolerance and integrity as a weakness. As a weakness.
“And now, the places where the arms shipments are arriving, in particular in Europe, taking into consideration Russia’s high-precision long-range weaponry, it’s about time we took steps to warn them [against supplying such systems].
“It happened in the Korean war. We shot down 1,270 American planes. The world didn’t end.
“It’s time to wreck American bases, for now the ones in Europe.
“Unfortunately, that’s just my personal opinion. [We should do it] if we are not heard, if it threatens our people on our territory.”
The US confirmed on Wednesday that a new weapons package has been approved for Ukraine that will include four M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS).
Undersecretary for Defence Dr Colin H Kahl said: “These are precision-guided systems with extended range. And so for high-value targets that allow them to keep some of the pressure off of Ukrainian forces on the front, we think these systems will be very useful.”
The weapons systems can target territory up to 45 miles away and are believed to be more accurate than their Russian equivalents.
US President Joe Biden, who had been reluctant to send longer-range missiles to Ukraine, said: “We are not going to send to Ukraine rocket systems that can strike into Russia.”
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Several Russian officials criticised the move and, akin to senator Klintsevich, questioned the reliability of Kyiv’s assurances that these missiles would not be used to target territory in Russia.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the US was “intentionally adding fuel to the fire” by sending the missiles.
He added: “Such supplies do not contribute to the Ukrainian leadership’s willingness to resume peace negotiations.”
And Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov suggested Mr Biden’s announcement increased the risk of a “third country” being dragged into the conflict.
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